The American economic crisis and personal security fears appear to be the driving force behind a recent surge in the sale of a number of consumer items, one of the most surprising of which is household safes.
Safe retailers and manufacturers had been reporting a dramatic increase in sales beginning with the start of the economic crisis, then elevating sales again as the market continued to dive.
Some manufacturers have reported up to a 50% increase in sales over this time last year. Despite the state of the economy and the negative effect on spending in general, there are a few markets that have seen an increase in sales.
Increases in demand for products like household safes, home electronics and firearms appear to be directly linked to the economic crisis. The Consumer Electronic Association has predicted that sales of certain electronics will increase despite the drop in allover consumer spending.
The CEA believes that people will spend a little money on home entertainment such as video games and televisions instead of a lot of money on outside dining and entertainment. Guns are another product that analysts are watching. Historically, the sale of guns rises during economic hardships. This is usually attributed to people’s fears of civil unrest and higher crime rates.
However, the surge in household safes may be unique to this particular economic crisis. The government seizure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as the sale of financial heavyweights such as Merrill Lynch, Wachovia and Washington Mutual appear to have consumers fearing for their personal savings and investments more so than in previous economic downturns.
Authority Safes Sales Manager Janel Crisp has spoken with several customers expressing their concern for the economy and personal security. “We’ve had a lot of new customers saying they just want something where they can store their important papers, cash and jewelry, sometimes even gold in. They just want that sense of security that their vital possessions are nearby and safe,” she said.
This appears to be the trend throughout the market as more consumers are feeling the blow to their sense of financial security stemming from the collapse of financial institutions.
According to Crisp, since the start of the economic downturn began, sales have risen in specific areas, such as larger and stronger safes. “There has definitely been an increase in people asking for larger safes, over 500 pounds, and safes with burglary and fire protection ratings,”she said.
Without knowing when and how the economy will turn, there’s no way to know what kind of other economy-based consumer trends will be appearing. Until then, it seems consumers will continue to purchase the items that increase their sense of security and help them ride out the crisis.